new movie [Cargo] - in a
few words, what is it about?
is a new thriller film
about a millionaire businessman who awakens trapped inside a cargo
container with only a cell phone to wile his way out. His kidnappers
give him 24 hours to raise ten million dollars or they'll kill him and his
kidnapped trophy wife.
What were your sources of
inspiration when writing [Cargo]?
man films I'd seen over the years, Castaway with Tom Hanks, All is Lost
with Robert Redford, Brake with Stephen Dorff, Buried with Ryan Reynolds,
Locke with Tom Hardy. All films that basically took place with a man
trapped in one location.
talk about your movie's approach to horror for a bit!
I wanted the film to be largely left to the viewer's imagination.
The voices and sound effects the main character hears over the phone is
sort of akin to a 1930s or 1940s radio play, where the listener's
imagination creates a movie in their own mind.
[Cargo] being entirely
shot in one cargo container - what was it like filming there, and what
were the challenges to keep things visually interesting throughout?
shot the film in a rented 30 foot cargo container we placed in the front
yard of my cinematographer Chris Gosch's new home. We originally
wanted a 40 container yet when delivered it wouldn't fit in the front yard
so we had it replaced the next day with a 30 foot container. I was
concerned it wouldn't be big enough yet all those concerns went away
when it was delivered, it was the size of a tank almost.
In terms of keeping it visually interesting I just made out a shot list
and went with what felt right for the emotion of each scene. For
some scenes we spun around the actor to heighten the emotional punch of
the scene. For others we used a still camera in a one point
perspective shot. For others we did extreme closeups or crane
shots. It just depended on the scene.
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
The important thing is
keeping the story moving, keeping the audience engaged, entertained and intrigued.
Now acting-wise, [Cargo]
is pretty much carried by its lead Ron Thompson, who is in practically all
of the shots - so what can you tell us about Ron, how hard was it to find
an actor who could deliver that kind of performance even, and what was it
like directing just one actor?
I was a fan of Ron's 1981
animated rock film American Pop, directed by Ralph Bakshi. I finally
met Ron on Facebook and we finally got a chance to work together on [Cargo]. Working with one actor in one 30 foot location you can
shoot pretty fast even though we were getting several takes of each scene
What can you tell us
about your voice cast, and why exactly those people?
Some of the actors such as Jose Rosete who plays the voice of Merc I
had worked with before. Others were actors who were friends of me
or Ron who I felt were right for the roles, like Matthew Rosvally who
plays Evan or Danika Fields who plays Susan or my producer J.C. Macek
III [J.C. Macek interview -
click here], who plays multiple voices in the film and is also the author of
the [Cargo] novelization that was published earlier this year by UK
publisher Bloodhound Books. The novel had two covers, the original
cover and a special movie tie-in cover with lead actor Ron Thompson on
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was a fun yet challenging shoot. Ron Thompson, our lead actor, said
it best, "The best thing is I'm in every scene! The worst
thing is? I'm in every scene!"
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of [Cargo]?
audience and critical reaction has been largely positive. I've been
very happy with the response so far.
future projects you'd like to share?
I'm working a new
horror thriller script now, a found footage genre film.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
I grew up loving movies of all genres,
thriller, horror, comedy, drama, science fiction, action. Arthouse
cinema and Hollywood films. Films were a passion of mine and I
wanted to try my hand at making my own.
What can you tell us about your filmwork
prior to [Cargo]?
shot a few short films, wrote a number of screenplays, the usual.
would you describe yourself as a director?
I try to pay attention to all the details, I'm already thinking about
the editing when we're shooting on set so I try and get as much coverage
as possible. Every shot in a film is important.
who inspire you?
Park Chan-wook, Stanley Kubrick, Sam
Raimi, George Miller, Steven Spielberg, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese,
Dario Argento, Sergio Leone, Quentin Tarantino, Joel and Ethan Coen, Hal
Hartley, Paul Thomas Anderson, George Lucas, Wes Anderson.
Your favourite movies?
There Will Be Blood, Barton Fink, A Clockwork Orange,
Simple, Goodfellas, The
Driver, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, No Country for Old
Men, Deep Red,
Evil Dead 2, Blue
you really deplore?
Films where the director doesn't even
seem to be trying. I'm a fan of a certain horror director that will
remain nameless. His early films were excellent but in the later
films it seems like he isn't making an effort to make a good film.
Hopefully he gets his filmmaking mojo back someday.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook,
Anything else you're dying to tell us
which I've merely forgotten to ask?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Please check out [Cargo]! Check out the official novelization.
And please check out the official [Cargo]
soundtrack composed by
Tangerine Dream's Thorsten Quaeschning. I placed an ad on
Craigslist seeking a composer for [Cargo]
who could compose a Tangerine
Dream-like score. One of Thorsten's team saw that there was a movie seeking
Dream music and Thorsten ended up responding to the ad. We spoke
over the phone and later via Skype and collaborated to make what I think
and a number of music critics think is a brilliant score. Thorsten
truly outdid himself. He recorded the album with his other band
called Picture Palace Music. The album features musical
performances by two out of three of the current band members of
Tangerine Dream, Thorsten Quaeschning and violinist Hoshiko Yamane.
Working with Thorsten was a fantastic experience.
Thanks for the
Thank you, sir!